Nirvana – in concert at The Hollywood Palladium – August 17, 1990 – Flip Martian – Live And Loud.com –
Nirvana in concert at The Hollywood Palladium to end the week. Recorded on August 17, 1990 – spiffed up, cleaned up and turbo charged by Live and Loud.com. Two months before the entrance of Dave Grohl and recorded during the 7-date West Coast tour, opening for Sonic Youth during which time former Melvins drummer filled in.
In April 1990, Nirvana began working on their next album with producer Butch Vig at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin. Cobain and Novoselic became disenchanted with Channing’s drumming, and Channing expressed frustration at not being involved in songwriting. As bootlegs of Nirvana demos with Vig began to circulate in the music industry and draw attention from major labels, Channing left the band. That July, Nirvana recorded the single “Sliver” with Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters.
In September 1990, Buzz Osborne of the Melvins introduced the band to drummer Dave Grohl, whose Washington, D.C. band Scream had broken up. Grohl auditioned for Novoselic and Cobain days after arriving in Seattle; Novoselic later said, “We knew in two minutes that he was the right drummer.” Grohl told Q :”I remember being in the same room with them and thinking, ‘What? That’s Nirvana? Are you kidding?’ Because on their record cover they looked like psycho lumberjacks… I was like, ‘What, that little dude and that big motherfucker? You’re kidding me’.”
Disenchanted with Sub Pop, Nirvana decided to look for a deal with a major record label since no indie label could buy the group out of its contract. Cobain and Novoselic consulted Soundgarden and Alice in Chains manager Susan Silver for advice. They met Silver in Los Angeles and she introduced them to agent Don Muller and music business attorney Alan Mintz, who was specialized in finding deals for new bands. Mintz started sending out Nirvana’s demo tape to major labels looking for deals. Following repeated recommendations by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Nirvana signed to DGC Records in 1990. When Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, Novoselic thanked Silver during his speech for “introducing them to the music industry properly”.
As a reminder of the period just before they became household names, here is their Palladium gig from the seven date tour, recorded on August 17, 1990. And special thanks to Live and Loud for working magic.